Thursday, January 29, 2004
Taylor Fletcher took another step closer to Anchorage, Alaska, and the Junior Olympic Championships last weekend by winning twice in Winter Park.
Fletcher scored 198.2 points on jumps of 56 and 57 meters to top teammates Charlie Stoddard and Sam Chovan on the K60 hill during the second of three Junior Olympic qualifiers this winter. Stoddard was second with 177.8 points and Chovan was third with 145.9.
Steamboat's Adam Peters finished fourth, Erik Lynch was fifth, Luke Anderson was sixth and Jake Barker came in seventh on the big hill.
Fletcher also won the K38 jump by scoring 208.1 points on efforts of 37.5 and 37 meters. Stoddard was second at 195.7, and Peters came in third at 185.9.
Lynch was fourth, Anderson was fifth and Cliff Field was sixth.
Winter Park's Ethan Larson was the only ski jumper outside of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to finish in the top 10. He was 10th.
"I'm very pleased with the way our guys are jumping right now," coach Gary Crawford said.
The coach said he wasn't surprised that the Winter Sports Club team dominated the event. He said Winter Park has a good program, but it doesn't have the same number of athletes that Steamboat or Park City have. Winter Park is the only other program Steamboat will face in the qualifiers.
The event was important because it is one of three events used to determine the jumpers who will travel to Anchorage in March for the Junior Olympic Championships. Crawford said coaches use a complex system to determine which athletes are invited; several Steamboat jumpers already have met the criteria.
Their names will be announced after the final Junior Olympic qualifier, which will take place in Steamboat on Feb. 13-15.
Steamboat also dominated the younger classes, thanks to Lynch's efforts.
Lynch won the J5 boys class on the K15 hill with jumps of 12 and 13 meters. He scored 112 points to slip past teammate Barker in second at 109.2 and Jace Worden in third with 103.3 points.
Steamboat's Aleck Gantick was fourth, Zeb Tipton was fifth and Ben Berend was sixth.
Steamboat's Travis Oren won the boy's open class, and teammate Martha Anderson won the girls open.
Nicholas Madden topped the boy's J6 class by beating Winter Park's Matthew Moniz. Steamboat's Mary O'Connell won the J5 girls class with efforts of 9 and 10.5 meters on the K15 hill, followed by teammates Emily Hannah and Morgan Mertz.
Lynch also set the pace on the K25 by winning the J4 class with the two longest jumps of the day. His efforts of 23 and 23.5 meters netted 119.1 points and the first place finish. Anderson was second with 115.5 points, and Field was third with 11.6 points.
Winter Park's Matthew Naschak won the boys open class.
Steamboat's Hannah won the girls J4 class with 55.2 points on efforts of 16 and 17 meters on the K25 hill, followed by Mary O'Connell in second. Teammates Anderson and Meg O'Connell tied for third.
Winter Park's Makenna Morch won the girls K38 jumping competition, followed by Hannah and Mary O'Connell.
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